Chrome OS 96 released: What’s new?

The News

Google is distributing Chrome OS version 96. It has already arrived at my Pixelbook Go and Lenovo Chromebook Duet Tablet 10. 🙂

In a post on the Google blog, Michael Perrigo describes that this update gives a few improvements to the system built-in camera app with some new “tricks.” Furthermore, user experience with wallpapers (screen background images) has been completely redesigned, Nearby share for Android apps on Chrome OS has been introduced, and much more.

Sounds good again!

New camera features

Now it’s possible to take scans of your documents using your Chrome OS device’s camera(s):

Scanning a document with the camera app on Chrome OS | Image: Google
Scanning a document with the camera app on Chrome OS | Image: Google

You can also scan QR codes this way if you select the corresponding function there.

In the Google blog, Mr. Perrigo points out that these are rather useful features for Chrome OS tablets and not Chromebooks in a clamshell design. I can confirm that. It’s difficult with a regular “laptop” to hold a document appropriately in front of the front camera. The same is true for scanning barcodes. With the camera on the back of my Lenovo Chromebook tablet, that’s not a problem at all.

I still want to see a feature in this course: scanning barcodes when setting up new Wi-Fi in the system settings. That would be nice. It works so great on my Pixel 4a. Why not on Chrome OS as well? 😉

Otherwise, you can then find the scanned image as usual, very conveniently in your Gallery or Files app, and then share it on your social media channels with the even new partial features on your Chromebook. Furthermore, via Nearby Share, which many don’t even know yet, works just like Apple’s Airdrop to share documents between your devices.

Then there’s a new “Pan-Tilt-Zoom” feature that allows you to adjust the angle or position of the photo’s capture:

Using the new “Pan-Tilt-Zoom” feature of the camera app on Chrome OS | Image: Google
Using the new “Pan-Tilt-Zoom” feature of the camera app on Chrome OS | Image: Google

That also works great with external cameras, such as my Logitech HD webcam.

Nearby Share now also in Android apps on Chrome OS

Yes, this is also finally possible if you use Android apps on Chrome OS!

Here’s an example using the Adobe Lightroom app on my Chromebook:

Sharing an image from the Lightroom Android app on Chrome OS via Nearby Share | Image: cyldx.com
Sharing an image from the Lightroom Android app on Chrome OS via Nearby Share | Image: cyldx.com

It’s simple. Just click the share icon like you would on your mobile, select Nearby Share, and you’re good to go. I will make a small tutorial about Nearby-Share itself. It’s just great, helpful and very comfortable. Give it a try. 🙂

The wallpaper app has been redesigned and simplified

In case you didn’t know it yet: You can customize your wallpaper easily. Either set an image in the Files app as background by right-clicking on it. You can now find the Wallpaper app in Chrome OS’ launcher. Furthermore, it is also possible via “System settings” ⇒ “Open wallpaper app.”

This app visually supports you to set a wallpaper and brings many free great wallpapers.

Google has now introduced a grid design that leads to an enlarged view and therefore on a Chrome OS tablet wonderful to operate by touch.

Here’s how it looks now on my Chromebook:

The new view of the Wallpaper app of Chrome OS | Image: cyldx.com
The new view of the Wallpaper app of Chrome OS | Image: cyldx.com

Control app notifications in the system settings

Via “System Settings” ⇒ “Apps” ⇒ “Notifications” you can now easily, very comfortably and quickly disable app notifications in a list:

Controlling notifications of apps on Chrome OS in the system settings | Image: cyldx.com
Controlling notifications of apps on Chrome OS in the system settings | Image: cyldx.com

I think this is excellent because some notifications are just annoying. I also really like the “do not disturb” feature.

More app settings options

Also helpful is the new feature that, for individual web apps, you can specify whether the app should open in its own window without the browser controls or in a standard window. I think this is a great option because it allows you to easily switch between individual web apps, such as Asana, Notion, Adobe Photoshop for Web (Beta) [my post about it], and Adobe Lightroom Web, using “Alt & Tab” just like on Windows. Moreover, in Chrome, you can switch between tabs with keyboard shortcuts [Google Support description], but you’re just a creature of habit. 🙂

Furthermore, you can specify whether you want to launch supported links in the associated Android app or instead as a web app. A clear example of this is Netflix. Actually, I always use the web app and the Android app only when I want to have a movie available offline to watch it at another location where there is no internet connection.

I am excited about the new Chrome OS version! Keep up the good work, Google!

Have fun with it 🙂

Marcel@CYLDX

Hey! 😀 I started this blog in 2018. Fitting the blog, I want to describe myself as a true “Google Sheep,” incredibly addicted to travel and open-minded. I like traveling the world and creating digital content on Chrome OS, travel, and mobile work.

Marcel@CYLDX has 47 posts and counting. See all posts by Marcel@CYLDX

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